Best-selling children’s author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney will speak at the University of Maryland’s spring 2022 commencement, university President Darryll Pines announced in a campuswide email Friday.
Kinney, who graduated from this university in 1993 with a degree in criminology and criminal justice, was initially scheduled to speak at the university’s winter 2021 commencement before the ceremony was canceled due to a spike in COVID-19 cases mid-December.
Winter 2021 graduates will also be invited to the spring commencement ceremony, which is scheduled to be in-person, according to the email.
“We are happy to be planning an outdoor, in-person ceremony with health and safety top of mind,” Pines wrote.
Born and raised by a family of University of Maryland alumni, Kinney is best known for his work as the creator of the best-selling Diary of a Wimpy Kid book series. He is an alumnus of The Diamondback, where he gained notoriety for “Igdoof” — a comic strip that satirized student life, The Diamondback reported in November.
Kinney’s other accolades include being a finalist among Time Magazine’s most influential people in the world in 2009, winning numerous literary awards and creating Poptropica, an online game, according to The Diamondback in November.
“I have had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Kinney since becoming president, and I have no doubt that he will have inspiring words of advice to share with our graduates from his time at UMD and beyond,” Pines wrote in a December email.
More information about the ceremony, tickets, regalia and safety measures, as well as individual college and school ceremonies, will be available soon, Pines wrote.